When Mrs. Deadman and I want to amuse ourselves while whittling away some time, we often play the alphabet game. It’s quite a simple affair. Most of you are probably familiar with it, but for the rest of you, this is how it works:
Someone picks a random category or topic (say, ‘Clothing Store Chains’ or ‘Diseases’). Then, the other person (you can play with more than two, but surely you can find better ways to pass the time if you’re in a group) thinks of an answer belonging in that category and starting with the letter ‘A’ (say ‘Abercrombie and Fitch’ or ‘Alzheimer’s'). Then you continue down the alphabet, alternating answers as you go (Typically, you skip ‘Q’ and ‘X’ because those are virtually impossible unless your topic is medical TV dramas or lame musical instruments). If one of you can’t think of an answer that fits, the other one gives it a shot. You don’t really keep score or anything, you just know when you’re not pulling your weight and then get mad at the other person for being so smug and clever.
The Mrs. and I have played The Alphabet Game riding trains, walking the dog, lying in bed, and most impressively, while dancing our first dance at our wedding (neither one of us was at all comfortable with all those sets of eyes upon us, and playing the game ended up being a great way to speed up those awkward few minutes. And as a bonus, on our wedding video it just looks like we were having a fun, thoughtful conversation. BTW, the topic was ‘Our Wedding Guests, by First Name’).
In any case, I’ve had trouble for some time staying dedicated to this blogging thing. Ok, that’s putting it mildly, and having a 5-month-old daughter has only made it worse (Plenty more to write about, of course, just not the time). So in a desperate, Hail-Mary attempt to get back into the writing habit, I figured why not play my own little version of the alphabet game. Maybe it will give this blog some structure and keep me motivated.
Every week or so, I plan on writing a post on a subject that begins with a different letter, methodically going down the alphabet (and probably skipping Q and X). Sometimes the blog will be about a nebulous concept, sometimes a specific issue or person. Sometimes it will be a short piece, other times long. Sometimes serious, other times not so much. Sometimes when I’m feeling lazy and there’s a timeless topic that fits, I may just reprint one of my earlier blog posts (not like anyone’s read them … or, sadly, will be reading this). That’s the plan, anyway.
Now when I finish (not ‘if’ dammit, but ‘when’), I’m not sure what I’ll have, aside from hopefully 24-26 blog posts that are somewhat interesting, at least to members of my immediate family. I’ve always assumed my life would be a short one and I’m oddly obsessed with issues of death and mortality, so especially now that I have a daughter, I guess mostly I hope as a finished whole, the series will stand as some sort of silly personal legacy, helping to define who I am, what I care about, and why I rock (and if never finished, it will stand as an even more appropriate legacy of why I don’t rock).
Whatever this ends up being, it sure as hell won’t amount to a Guide to Living, since that is like Tony Robbins-pompous and can’t really exist … and if it could, I certainly wouldn’t be the one to compose such a thing. I can’t imagine anyone more clueless on the topic of proper living as me. Deadman’s A-Z Guide to Living just sounded good to me.
So let’s get it started … sometime soon, of course.